The Muslim Students Association at UC Davis (MSA-UCD) describes itself as an organization that “works to bring Muslims on campus together in order to learn more about our faith … and to dispel any myths and untruths about Islam.” To promote this objective, the group sponsors a variety of campus events on a regular basis.
In May 2008, for example, MSA-UCD’s “Palestine Awareness Week” (PAW) featured a guest appearance by Ghada Karmi, a Palestinian author and academic known for her belief that Israel has “made a travesty of international and humanitarian law,” and that there is absolutely “nothing positive about the existence of Israel, as far as the Arabs are concerned.” Later that week, PAW activities culminated with a “Palestinian Remembrance” night in recognition of “those Palestinians that have been murdered, oppressed, made to be refugees and ethnically cleansed by Israeli Occupation in the last 60 years.”
In 2010, MSA-UCD sponsored a speaking engagement by Yvonne Ridley, a British-born Muslim convert who supports the dismantling of Israel. In her speech at UC Davis, Ridley compared the Afghanistan’s former Taliban regime favorably to the United States.
A February 24, 2011 MSA-UCD event was keynoted by Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, co-founder of Zaytuna College, America’s first accredited four-year Islamic college. Yusuf was well known for describing Judaism as “a most racist religion”; speaking at a benefit dinner in honor of the convicted cop-killer Jamil Al-Amin”; and lamenting that Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the Egyptian cleric convicted of masterminding numerous terror plots, was “unjustly tried.”
Also in February 2011, Zaid Shakir, the other co-founder of Zaytuna College, spoke at an MSA-UCD event about Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. A defender of Hamas, Shakir is known for expressing his desire to see the United States eventually become a Muslim country ruled by Islamic law and asserting that organizations such as Hamas and al Qaeda are pursuing manifestly legitimate objectives.
In another 2011 MSA-UCD gathering, the notorious anti-Semite Amir-Abdel Malik-Ali delivered an address wherein he praised Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who had frequently and unambiguously called for the permanent destruction of Israel by violent means. Malik-Ali further suggested that because “the Jews in Iran don’t live in refuge camps,” their circumstances were less oppressive than those of Palestinians in the Middle East.
More than once, MSA-UCD has attempted to shut down scheduled presentations by guest speakers whose views were incompatible with its own. In February 2007, for instance, the organization pressured the university, without success, to cancel a speech by Walid Shoebat, a former PLO terrorist who had since converted to Christianity and had become a harsh critic of radical Islam. In an effort to discredit Shoebat, MSA-UCD illogically claimed that “a self-confessed ‘ex-terrorist’ is walking freely in the country, simply because he has converted to Christianity and supports this country’s policies towards Israel.” Urging the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to “investigate … Shoebat’s violent past,” the Association condemned “the intentionally Islamophobic and erroneous association of Islam and violence” that Shoebat allegedly promoted. Failing to get Shoebat’s UC Davis appearance cancelled, a number of MSA members attended the speech and then, at approximately its midpoint, rose in unison from their seats and walked out of the auditorium as an act of disruption.
In October 2007, MSA-UCD similarly sought to cancel the Terrorism Awareness Project’s Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week (IFAW) activities, whose purpose was to educate students at UC Davis (and 113 additional colleges and universities) about the nature of the fanatical religious movement aiming to create a global Muslim empire. In MSA-UCD’s estimation, IFAW was an exercise in anti-Muslim bigotry.
Unable to persuade school administrators to cancel IFAW, MSA-UCD organized a slate of events to compete with it. Among these events were presentations by members of MECha, MSA, Students for Justice in Palestine, and Students Organizing for Change.
MSA-UCD has participated numerous times — along with more than 250 fellow Muslim organizations (mostly chapters of the MSA) — in an annual “Ramadan Fast-a-Thon,” where students eat nothing from sunrise to sundown on one designated day each year. The purpose of this event — which was initiated shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — is twofold: to “raise money for the hungry and poor,” and to help Americans “increase” their “understanding” of Muslims’ good intentions. Such notables as Sheikh Muhammad Nur Abdullah, Sheikh Abdullah Idris Ali, Imam Zaid Shakir, and Sheikh Hamza Yusuf have endorsed the Fast-a-Thon.
A notable former member of MSA-UCD is Asan Akbar, an American Muslim extremist who attended the MSA-controlled student mosque at UC Davis and then, after graduating, joined the U.S. Army. In the early hours of March 23, 2003, Akbar intentionally detonated a grenade amidst sleeping members of his 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division stationed in Kuwait – killing two and wounding fifteen. Not long before this incident, Akbar had been reprimanded for insubordination and reportedly told his mother that the military was persecuting him because he was a Muslim.
For additional information on MSA-UCD, click here.